The Financial Express

Commission asked to submit report on study in 7 days for signing FTA with China

| Updated: January 03, 2022 19:07:38

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The commerce ministry has asked the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC) to submit a complete report in seven days on conducting a joint feasibility study on signing the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China.

Earlier, the ministry asked the BTTC to submit the report, but to no avail.

"We will now consider signing a comprehensive FTA with China," said a high official, adding that Bangladesh was seriously thinking about signing the FTA in an effort to boost exports to the massive Chinese market.

"The Bangladesh government has already started talks aiming at signing an FTA with China. More efforts are needed to conclude the negotiations and materialise the agreement," he added.

"The FTA will help Bangladesh face the challenges of LDC graduation."

China granted duty-free and quota-free (DFQF) access to 8,556 Bangladeshi products (97 per cent), which may help boost exports while lowering the ballooning bilateral trade imbalance, officials said.

China is the largest trade partner for Bangladesh with annual bilateral commerce totalling over $12.13 billion.

In the fiscal year 2019-20, Bangladesh imported goods worth over US$11.53 billion from China and exported goods over US$ 600 million.

Bangladesh's trade gap with China stood at nearly US$ 11 billion in FY20, according to the statistics of the ministry.

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